Nearly all of The Bond Buyer's weekly yield indexes rose this week, ending the municipal market's string of gains since the beginning of 2009.
"The market has really done a pretty solid reversal this week," said Evan Rourke, portfolio manager at Eaton Vance Asset Management in New York. "Munis had a very nice rally in the beginning of January, which I think was largely on the back of somewhat limited supply, strong reinvestment flows. Well, now that tide may be turning."
"A fair amount of reinvestment flows seem to be spent, and you have had a little bit of a calendar, and now perhaps there's some profit taking or loss limiting on some positions right now," Rourke said. "Some of the deals started to slow down this week, so munis just kind of have a heavier tone. On the week, you're seeing a little bit of steepening, and any selling pressure seems to be coming on the longer end of the curve."
The municipal market was mostly mixed Friday ahead of an early close and Monday's Martin Luther King Day holiday. Tuesday, the tax-exempt market was weaker, ending a trend of falling tax-exempt yields that had endured for several weeks. Traders said muni yields were higher by five to seven basis points.
The municipal market was weaker Wednesday, following Treasuries. Traders said tax-exempt yields were higher by four to six basis points overall. Yesterday, muni yields were higher by four or five basis points.
The Bond Buyer 20-bond index of GO yields rose 33 basis points this week to 5.13%. It is the first increase in the index after five consecutive declines, and it put the index at its highest level since Dec. 31, 2008, when it was 5.24%.
The 11-bond index of higher-grade 20-year GO yields rose 31 basis points this week to 4.90%. The increase ended a five-week string of declines for the index, and raised it to its highest level since Dec. 31, 2008, when it was 5.01%.
The revenue bond index, which measures 30-year revenue bond yields, rose 10 basis points this week to 5.82%. The index previously had declined five weeks in a row. It remains below its level from two weeks ago, when it was 5.90%.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield rose 38 basis points this week to 2.58%, which is the highest level since Dec. 11, 2008, when it was 2.62%.
The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond yield rose 39 basis points this week to 3.25%, which is the highest it has been since Nov. 25, 2008, when it was 3.62%.
The Bond Buyer one-year note index, which measures one-year tax-exempt note yields, rose four basis points this week to 0.77%, but it remained below its level from two weeks ago, when it was 1.09%.
The weekly average yield to maturity on The Bond Buyer 40-bond municipal bond index finished at 5.70%, unchanged from last week.